Can you train a dog to stop scratching the ground after pooping?
March 15, 2017 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Can you train a dog to stop scratching the ground after pooping?

I know it's instinctual, but can it be discouraged? I do not mind the scratching, per se, but my dog frequently steps in his poo while scratching, resulting in the poo being flung about (and hence it being scattered and unlikely to all be gathered in the poo bag) and also a poo-covered paw (and hence the need for washing paws once we are home). Any suggestions would be appreciated.
posted by mortaddams to Pets & Animals (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Respect the age old instincts and toss him a treat five feet away every time the results are the ones you can settle for, win win.
posted by Freedomboy at 4:47 PM on March 15 [10 favorites]

Freedomboy has it; treat for the business well done after leading your pup just a couple steps away.
posted by vers at 4:51 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]

Yep, distract and redirect. Do it for long enough and he'll start reflexively stepping forward several steps when he's done, which means he can kick safely.

I have kind of lazily reduced my most determined dog's kicking habit by giving her the game show buzzer noise when she starts, she was fucking up the grass with her extremely enthusiastic kicking. But then also with the peeing and pooping, so I'm not normally moved enough to actually get up and get a treat in time.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:01 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]

And I wasn't very clear. The scratching is scent marking and I can't see any reasonable reason to discourage it. Best to just gently lead your pup out of the poop zone to let him/her mark by kicking, reward and then you can pick up.
posted by vers at 6:51 PM on March 15

As soon as she's finished pooping a cheerful "Good Girl, Lets go" and then enthusiastically & determinedly keep going with your walk. Another "Good Girl/Boy" as soon as they trot along to keep up with you. Treating even after a few steps away will help.

If it's while the dog is off leash, maybe calling them to you if you have a high enough value treat might distract them.
posted by wwax at 8:48 PM on March 15

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